All pizzas are flatbreads, but not all flatbreads are pizza. Capiche? However, it is really just a game of semantics. Whether you decide that putting ingredients on a baked “flat bread” or “crust” is called a pizza or a flatbread, topping individual flatbreads with sauces, meats, vegetables, and cheeses is a great way to cook with others and for everyone to be creative and try new combinations of flavors. An added bonus is that it’s something fun to do with the kids during these times of quarantine, and I think we all are looking for new ways to spice up our days.
The differences between flatbread and pizza can be broken down into a matter of ingredients and semantics. Flatbread is made with flour, water, salt, and unleavened yeast, meaning the flatbread dough does not rise. Pizza dough, on the other hand, does require leavening, and during the dough making process, the dough is left to rise for about an hour.
There are a variety of flatbreads throughout the world – each named differently. In Greece, it’s pita bread; in Central Asia, it’s Naan or Tandoor Naan; in Jamaica it’s Bammy, while other Caribbean countries may refer to it as a Johnnycake.
Semantically, some people may just call thinly rolled out pizza dough flatbread. Although, flatbreads are usually a rectangular shape with a thinner, crispier crust, and lighter toppings, whereas pizza usually has a thicker crust, larger amounts of sauce, cheese, and toppings.
The term “flatbread” is used differently by different people. The strictest definition would be unleavened bread - no yeast or chemical leavening (baking soda, baking powder) to make the bread rise - crackers, matzah, lavash, even tortillas. Some people draw the line at yeasted doughs (which includes pizza and pita) claiming anything without yeast could be a flatbread. Finally, for some people, a flat bread, even yeasted (like pizza or focaccia) is a flatbread.
When I say, “try my latest flatbread recipe,” I am not talking about the base or crust of the dish. I’m talking about the whole combination of things on top along with the flatbread underneath. The fact is that for many of my recipes, I suggest using a ready-made flatbread. This could be anything from a traditional pizza crust to a flour tortilla, depending on what you choose. Some toppings need a sturdier base, while others do just fine on a thin crust. We have many recipes for flatbreads on the website which will give you great ideas for the types of toppings that work well together. Click Here
For your “make-your-own flatbread” night, simply supply the ready-made crusts and a good selection of sauces, meats, cheeses, and veggies. You’ll be surprised by the combinations your family comes up with. You also may be surprised as to what your kids will eat when they are making it themselves!